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Strangest Relationship I Have Been In

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I am in a relationship with a 49 yoa male who has not had a lasting relationship in 19 years. He is a realist, recovering alcohol of 25 yrs, does not believe in Western Medicine and speaks the truth about everything regardless of feelings. We have had challenges from day one but the most recent challenge is that he has enacted stipulations that we will not attend public events together, we will not eat at restaurants together, we will not attend a movie together, etc – all because he believes I am unable to control my behavior/emotions. For example, we attended an event in which I ran into a male who had caused a serious injury to myself in which I almost lost a leg. I have not seen this male since the final court date.The male dragged out things out for years causing me more money and frustration to collect on his criminal restitution. Yes, I was surprised to see him at the event, told my bf who the male was and expressed disgust of seeing him again. I did not approach the male or speak to him. The whole incident/my behavior last possibly 5 mins before I collected myself and went back to having a good time. Since that event, my bf believes I have anger issues and can not be trusted to “stay in the moment” with him therefore he will not attend any more events with me because he “will not put himself” in that situation again. Nothing I did or said should have affected my bf therefore I am confused to say the least. He explained it as why should he feel uncomfortable or give support to me for something I should have dealt with already. He does not want to go to the movies because I once mentioned I was uncomfortable in the seats however we have since gone to two movies with the new seating and I have been fine. He knows that but for some reason has decided all of sudden to issue this stipulation. I believe this is controlling manipulative behavior, possibly passive aggressive and punishment for things I may have done or said that he will not forgive me for. I do not believe this is normal but he has me almost convinced I am at fault for these stipulations. Please help me understand what is going on. (From the USA)

Strangest Relationship I Have Been In

Answered by on -


 I believe you need to respect yourself more and appreciate your insight that his declarations about you and stipulations are controlling, manipulative behavior. A man who tells you he doesn’t want to go to a restaurant, movie, or other events with you is sabotaging the relationship. His blaming you sounds like a convenient way of not finding ways to extend himself with any sort of empathy. It is no wonder he hasn’t had a lasting relationship in nearly two decades. If he says he won’t put himself through tolerating you in public — I’d encourage you to take care of yourself by moving on.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Strangest Relationship I Have Been In

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Strangest Relationship I Have Been In. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 22 Jul 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.